Sunday, December 23, 2012

a christmas crafternoon

I love days like this right before Christmas.  
Days laughing and crafting with friends.  My daughter joked it was like a Mother-Daughter Craft Club. I call it fun.  I wish we could have had more of our friends join us but kept it simple for a last minute gathering.

No, I'm not ready for Christmas. In fact, I haven't wrapped one single gift. I still have to shop for Christmas dinner trimmings, etc, etc... But it was a joy to spend the day relaxing and creating with friends. 

We made fabric wrapped wire letters that my friend Colleen spotted on the blog Whatever and vintage paper trees that I saw most recently on Sweet Paul

They were simple and fun. Our girls loved it. While we crafted and sipped Prosecco we planned for more of these with more of our friends. Crafting weekend coming soon!

I've really pared back the Christmas decor this year. Keeping it simple. Partly because I don't know where some of it is (reno...) and I'm just enjoying the simplicity of our new space this year. I also have to admit, I still feel a little sad this time of year. I miss my Mom. So instead of stressing over making everything perfect I'm trying to just enjoy the moment. That's all it's really all about isn't it? Family and friends creating special moments.

A busy week of entertaining lies ahead including a last-minute cocktail party we decided to throw.  I LOVE being able to have our friends and family over in our new space. It makes all the hard work of a renovation worth it.

Happy Merry Making!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift Guide for Cooks...

I love to buy gifts for friends and family who love to cook.

So, I decided to put this little gift guide together to share some ideas for gifts for the gourmand in your life.

How about pairing an inspiring cookbook with spices? 
I absolutely love Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks. His latest, Jerusalem looks amazing. 

Pair it with a set of spices to compliment the recipes.
The Spice Trader is a favorite shop of mine, located in Toronto, they ship too! I also spotted gift sets at Chapters.

Another cookbook I would love to add to my collection, 
La Tartine Gourmande from Beatrice Peitre. Have you visited her blog? It inspires...

These handmade dishes from Elephant Ceramics would be a lovely accompaniment.

This is a beautiful cookbook from another favorite blog of mine, Cannelle et Vanille. Small Plates & Sweet Treats, Aran Goyoaga.  Perfect for those who have gluten allergies. Her recipes are delicious and beautiful. 

Hand printed tea towels from Rincon Road on Etsy

Lillet, say no more. I love this aperitif on the rocks in a classic french Duralex Picardie tumbler.

I've also had my eye on this print from MengelDesign on Etsy. 
It would look great in our new coffee station.  

Perhaps some lovely new coffee cups too, Heath Ceramics.

So, I just realized that this Gift Guide is also a personal wishlist. Hmm..


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Cookie Exchange...

Last week I hosted a Cookie Exchange at my house.

What a great night. It was the first party I've hosted in our newly renovated house. It turned into a kitchen party! Something we could never have done before.

The cookies were all amazing! Everyone brought enough for a half-dozen of their cookies to be distributed to each participant. 

I also set up a little packaging station. 

Assorted boxes, cellophane bags, coffee bags, 
take-out food containers, baker's twine, bells, twist ties and tags.

Looking forward to making this an annual event...


P.S. You may remember the post I did a few weeks ago on hosting a cookie exchange. 
For the "how-to" go here

And  yes, the house reveal photos are coming soon,  
just finishing up some bits and pieces :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Toy Tree

A cute Christmas diy to do with the kids using a classic Tinkertoy set...

Now I have to admit I did not come up with this idea. I saw it today on the Better Homes and Gardens website while looking for Christmas craft ideas for the kids to do on their day off.

Julian loved the idea and immediately ran down to the basement to dig out his Tinkertoy set.

It was super easy.

The original idea on BHG showed the tree with just the plain circular piece of wood as the base. This looked a lot cuter. However, we found it was just not stable enough and needed a heavier and wider base to keep it from toppling over. So Julian came up with the idea to add more wood dowels to the base. It worked.

Start at the bottom with the longest rods and then add each layer using a smaller size of rod until you get to the top.

Isabella added some of her vintage German wood ornaments she purchased last week at an antique market. They are the perfect addition to this fun tree.